I was recently in New York for an international matchmaker conference, where Dan Hill, author of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success and president of Sensory Logic, spoke about how we can use emotionomics in business and in our personal lives. Simply put, emotionomics is the study of emotions to benefit a particular group or individual.
Sounds a little strange to be talking about business and emotions, as we’ve all come from a line of successors who believed that emotions should be left at the office door but when it comes to business, whether you realise it or not, emotions matter.
Emotions drive action, and in business that drives motivation, persuasion, recall and loyalty.
Here are some of the ways being able to read emotions, comes in handy in business:
Knowing What Your Customer Thinks
In today’s competitive marketplace, people are buying from an emotional place. Gone are the days when it was just the price that drove the purchasing decision, today people are buying into a brand’s positioning over and above what they’re selling it for. If you can tap into what your customers want and why, you’re one step closer to connecting with them on an emotional level. Then you can start having a conversation to them based on how they feel.
“People are primarily emotional decision-makers. But many companies have not yet accepted that fact, much less acted on it. “Emotionomics” will help you to understand emotions in terms of business opportunities – both in the marketplace and in the workplace. In today’s highly competitive marketplace where many products look alike, it is the emotional benefit that can make the difference.” – Dan Hill
According to Dan, a company’s success is based on whether or not they can gauge and respond to people’s feelings – whether that’s their customers or their own employees. The key is knowing which emotions are important, why those emotions matter and when these emotions are being invoked.
The best way to tell when these emotions are being invoked is by reading the face, which is why Dan has built his company Sensory Logic around the science of Facial Coding – a system that studies human facial movements, originally developed by a Swedish anatomist named Carl-Herman Hjortsjö.
Researching Your Market
Facial coding is a great tool to use in market research and product development. In order for you to know what your market thinks of your brand, you’ve got to test it. This sometimes includes holding research groups where brands sit behind a glass screen and analyse what their target market think of their products, but what they say is far less than half of it. In order to know what their target market really thinks, companies have to analyse their emotions and one of the best ways to do this, is by analysing the face.
People naturally demonstrate and communicate their emotions through the face and when we read people, apparently 55% of it is facial expression, 38% is voice tone and only 7% is words.
The face reveals both conscious and subconscious reactions, so whether we want to or not, our face gives everything away. Given that the face is the only place in the body where the skin is 100% attached to the muscle, it’s no surprise.
Reading Your Audience When You’re Presenting
When you’re presenting an idea to a room full of clients, the best way to know whether they’re really buying what you’re selling is to observe their micro expressions. These are the ones that last less than half a second, not the obvious macro expressions, which last from half a second to 4 seconds.
According to imotions – a human behaviour software development company’s ebook – Facial Expressions Analysis, The Definitive Guide, ‘Micro expressions usually occur when someone is trying to consciously or unconsciously conceal or repress their current emotional state.’
So while your audience might look interested, that tiny inflection of their eyebrow before that long sustained look of approval, might be telling you they’re not that keen on the idea. This could give you a tip-off to address any preconceived concerns in the room, to them. Just by looking them in the eye, while delivering your solutions to any potential problems, could help you win your pitch.
Just don’t try and analyse your audience if you’re delivering a presentation to a room full Botox, the lack of expression could send you off on the wrong tangent.
The other area where it’s a goldmine to be to read emotions – is relationships. As sometimes there’s more being unsaid than said.
Here’s where being able to read emotions comes in handy in relationships.
Knowing When Someone Is Attracted To You
imotions states ‘Emotions are closely linked to physiological and psychological arousal, with various levels of arousal relating to specific emotions. They’re also defined as complex action programs, triggered by the presence of certain external or internal stimuli.’
So how does this come into play on your date and how can you figure out if someone is genuine interested in you?
Simply start by looking at their smile.
imotions believes that different parts of the brain are responsible for voluntary and involuntary expression.
‘While the brainstem controls involuntary and unconscious expressions that occur spontaneously, the motor cortex is involved in consciously controlled and intentional facial (voluntary) expressions.’
This is the reason why a fake smile just doesn’t feel as natural, whereas a genuine smile does. It doesn’t trigger the same emotional reactions in their body or your body, compared to an authentic smile. You’ll know when someone is attracted to you, as his or her smile will feel genuine and won’t linger past the point of authenticity.
And if you want to know more about reading body language on a first date, watch our vlog on body language.
Knowing If Your Partner Is Telling The Truth
This comes in handy, especially when they aren’t communicating what’s really their mind or are hiding something from you. The ability to read your partner’s face will help you uncover all the things they’re not communicating to you verbally.
According to Dan, “There is no one single lying muscle in people’s faces. And that’s probably a good thing. Otherwise, I’m afraid that many of us would want to pay a plastic surgeon a visit.”
What to look out for are smirks, the curling of lips upward and upward turning of the corners of the mouth. If you notice your partner is displaying these facial expressions, watch out.
A smirk means only one thing: contempt. The curling of the lip upward: disgust, and the corner of the mouth turning upwards: a lack of respect.
Dan denotes in an article on Psychology Today and example of this, with well-known baseball player, A-Rod. He tells of witnessing A-Rod’s 60 minutes TV interview with Katie Couric, on whether he had ever taken performance-enhancing drugs, A-Rod replied:
“I’ve never felt overmatched on the baseball field. I’ve always been in a very strong, dominant position…I didn’t have a problem competing at any level. So, no.”
Dan states “The moment I saw A-Rod’s smirk, I turned to my wife in the hotel room and said: “He’s lying.” What A-Rod was showing was a dismissal – a distancing – of himself, emotionally, from his own answer. So it was no surprise to me when he confessed shortly thereafter to using steroids.”
These are just some of the ways in which Emotionomics can be used in business and in your relationships. You can see how the benefits could be endless.
And Facial Coding really is a fascinating science. One that we could all do with learning, to help us get ahead in business and in our relationships.
If you’d like to know more about Dan Hill and his company Sensory Logic, visit his Facebook page. And if you’d like help finding someone special to express love and form a deep bond with, why not have your own personal matchmaker to go out and find them for you? Try our elite Perth dating service for yourself, and you will increase your chances of finding love.